Spotlight: Dr. Karen Alman
“The foundation is dynamic. We are very fortunate at Wenatchee Valley College to have the foundation here. I give because I believe that we will all benefit in some way, no matter how small. " - Dr. Karen Alman, WVC Communication Studies Faculty & Department Lead
Why is higher education important to the Wenatchee Valley?
“The valley here is unique in more ways than one. We are one of the smallest colleges that serves one of the largest public footprints and that huge service area makes us unique. Culturally and economically we are diverse in our own way. All of those factors coming together make higher education a challenge and also a mandate for the college to meet the needs of the local community and industries that we cherish here. It is up to us be responsive to the demands of the current and future work force that we have in the valley. We also serve the desires of those who wish to go further in their fields such as transfer students. We’ve got the technical demands for the work force and then we’ve got transfer students who want to move out of the area. I think this is a formidable challenge for us, but at the end of the day, we can say that we’ve managed to serve our constituents very well.”
What is your favorite part of being a WVC instructor?
“No two quarters are exactly the same. I tell my students this at the beginning of each quarter and it is what keeps coming back. It’s refreshing, it’s rejuvenating, it’s a different experience every time. I have developed deep and wide bonds with the students I have taught, advised and mentored during the 6 years I have been here. Those bonds are very valuable to me. I am very proud of the students who come back and tell me how much of an impact I’ve made on them. In fact, just a few weeks ago I had a student come back to visit, fresh out of Marines boot camp. He told me how much of an impact I made on him during his time here at WVC and how my influence helped make him into the man he is today. I was brought to tears, he is only 20 years old! That just warmed my heart.”
How has the foundation impacted you as an instructor here at WVC?
"We are very fortunate at Wenatchee Valley College to have the foundation here. I give to the foundation because I believe that we will all benefit in some way, no matter how small. I personally benefitted in May 2014 when I was awarded a substantial grant for a research project called Marketable Skills in Communication. That project was designed to research and investigate what employers were looking for in terms of communication skills for graduates fresh to the market. As a result of that grant I was able to do a very solid research project that became a published document. The following year in Oct. 2015, I was invited to share the presentation at a conference in Seattle for the Association of Business Communications. It was very gratifying, thank you, foundation! I also know a lot of students that have benefitted from scholarships – students whom I have known personally, because I have written letters of recommendations for them. These students have gone on to do very well.”
About Dr. Alman
Education: Bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism, University of the West Indies, Jamaica; Master’s degree in communications management, University of Southern California; Ph.D. in mass media/advertising, Michigan State University